Friday, May 15, 2009

Listbuilding Secret From the Experts: Polls! (part 1)

Polls ... one of the best marketing vehicles I've used to gauge consumer interest or collect qualified emails. Underestimated by those that don't truly know it's value and how to leverage them. But a completely viable and reliable way to build your prospect database.

Polls can be used on your own website as well as placed on other websites/blogs via banner or text ads through a media buy.

Variables for success will include the poll question, media placement, amount of media (impressions) purchased, and your overall budget.

However, unless you have an up-sell landing page that comes up immediately after completion of the poll, the leads will not be initially monetized. To some, initial monetization is important. To others, having those names convert organically in the normal sales cycle of 30 - 90 days is fine.

If that’s the case, it’s important to email these names soon after you collect them with a dedicated email for a low priced offer and try and convert leads for revenues to offset the media cost.

Here are some other important things to consider when using polls for lead generation:

1. Interactivity. Your question should engage the reader, encourage participation, peak interest, and tie into a current event. Also, have a "comments" field for additional remarks. Sample proven poll topics include: Politics, economy, health, consumer breakthroughs, the stock market, foreign affairs. It's great to weave current events and hot topics into your poll. Some websites that highlight the most talked about (and searched) topics on the web include:,, and

2. Relevance. Your poll question should be related to your product, free eLetter topic, or free bonus report topic. This will greatly improve your conversion rate and up-sell rate.

3. Incentive. If you're a publisher, after people take your poll or survey, mention that to thank them for their participation you’re automatically signing them up for your free eLetter, which they can opt out at any time. If you don't have an eLetter, you can offer a "must read" eReport and mention the reports value. This can be any useful "macro" level report that is anywhere from 3-10 pages. Emailing the report will reduce the number of bogus emails you get. Keep in mind, if it’s part of your privacy policy not to sell or rent email names to third parties (and as a best practice, it should be), mention this by sign up button. This will help reassure users that their email addresses are safe with you.

4. Name Quality. If your poll question and your product are in sync, these names could be extremely qualified for current … or future products. This can help allocate leads for like-minded front end products, such as a paid newsletter. Each name that comes in under a specific topic or product type should be "tagged" accordingly by your database folks for segmentation purposes to help conversion rates.

5. Market sentiment. In addition to name collection, your effort will also gauge general market opinion. The results from your poll could be helpful for product development. You'll be tapping into people's thoughts and behaviors and may consider next steps based on market demand.

Stay tuned, as next week I'll wrap up the "must do" list with how to follow up properly, get the most from the poll results and how to encourage participation!

Caio for now.
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